Conservation Clips are a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. If you have a relevant submission, please contact your NACD Communications Team.

Hoosier Ag Today: Much Concern about President Trump’s Proposed Ag Cuts
By Andy Eubank

The National Association of Conservation Districts also expressed concern. “Once again, this administration is calling on American producers to do more with less,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “The President’s budget proposes cuts to almost every area of USDA’s discretionary and mandatory budgets, including nearly $15 billion in cuts to farm bill conservation programs and over a 20 percent reduction to Conservation Operations.”

Bangor Daily News: Maine’s economy and land conservation are deeply intertwined
By Andy Beahm

(Opinion) Critiques of land conservation that don’t account for these benefits simply aren’t telling the whole story. More importantly, they misunderstand the special relationship Maine’s economy and ecology have always enjoyed, working not in opposition but in concert, each relying on and benefiting from the vitality of the other. Maine’s unique “eco/eco” partnership is rare, and it is something to treasure.

Civil Eats: No-Till Farmers’ Push for Healthy Soils Ignites a Movement in the Plains
By Twilight Greenaway

Jimmy Emmons isn’t the kind of farmer you might expect to talk for over an hour about rebuilding an ecosystem. And yet, on a recent Wednesday in January, before a group of around 800 farmers, that’s exactly what he did.

Corn and Soybean Digest: Rye cover crop impact on nitrogen leaching and corn yield
By Natalie Ricks and Fabián Fernández

A recent study from University of Minnesota, with support from Pope County SWCD and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, evaluated the use of winter rye as a cover crop in corn production. Early results show that a rye cover crop can help reduce nitrogen leaching in a corn after soybean rotation by 45 percent.

The Eagle: Texas A&M experts say extended drought could bring fire risk, agricultural impact
By Rebecca Fiedler

The drought that has plagued Texas since Hurricane Harvey drenched most of the state has raised fire risks and could eventually cause agriculture to take a hard hit. About 65 percent of the state is experiencing a drought.

Greenwire: Farmers ‘extremely nervous’ about Trump cuts
By Marc Heller

(Subscriber only) Once an idea of cutting farm programs is suggested or enters the public realm, it can sow fear among farmers, said Coleman Garrison, director of government affairs at the National Association of Conservation Districts.

Western FarmPress: Cover crops nutritious forage for bees
By Cecilia Parsons

Billy Synk at Seeds for Bees says planting cover crops in or near almond orchards to provide supplemental forage for bees is a growing trend. Depending on the year and the location, around 6,000 acres are planted annually with cover crop seeds provided at no charge to growers.

The Sacramento Bee: Why California is freaking out over this invasive giant swamp rodent
By Ryan Sabalow

A giant invasive swamp rodent known for destroying wetland habitats and damaging levees has invaded the West Coast’s largest estuary that sits on Sacramento’s doorstep. The fear is that if the voracious, burrowing plant eaters set up a sustaining population it could mean bad news for the fragile Delta ecosystem and its network of levees, which are vital to flood control and delivering water to farms and cities across the southern half of the state.

IndyStar: Indiana’s forests are in danger, and the threat: You
By Sarah Howman

It's the private forests at stake. Considering that nearly 85 percent — or 4.1 million acres — of Indiana's forests are privately owned, that's worrisome. As invasive species run rampant and hundreds of thousands of acres are expected to transfer hands in the coming years, experts fear for the future of Indiana's forests.

KCTS: Once Again, Congress Fails to Close Deal on Wildfire Legislation
By Jeff Mapes

Exasperated members of Congress say they came close last week to ending the longtime stalemate over legislation aimed at reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfires. But they say last-minute roadblocks kept a tentative deal from being included in the budget bill Congress passed last week to keep the federal government open.

High Plains Journal: Patience, belief and passion needed for soil health journey
By Doug Rich

Panel members said their soil health journey has been as much about a state of mind as it has been about farming practices. It is a belief that they can do better with the resources they have been given and that they can improve soil health on their farms.

Capital Press: Interior to implement massive overhaul despite criticism
By Dan Elliott

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is pressing ahead with a massive overhaul of his department, despite growing opposition to his proposal to move hundreds of public employees out of Washington and create a new organizational map that largely ignores state boundaries. Zinke wants to divide most of the department’s 70,000 employees and their responsibilities into 13 regions based on rivers and ecosystems, instead of the current map based mostly on state lines.

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